Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (07 April 2023)
On April 6th, 2023, the Ethiopian Meat Producers and Exporters Association, comprising ten major meat producers and exporters, announced that they will cease exporting meat products to foreign countries due to the government’s inability to address the rampant foreign currency embezzlement in the sector.
In a letter addressed to the Ministry of Agriculture, the association expressed their concerns that the companies renting export slaughterhouses are using the sector to steal foreign currency. The current forex guidelines permit exporters to utilize a portion of the foreign currency they acquire to import the goods they require, and taking advantage of this loophole, some companies lease out export slaughterhouses to gain access to foreign currency which they can use for other business or personal expenses or even to secure loans offered to exporters by banks.
Despite repeated requests for corrective measures from various government institutions over the past four months, the association has not received any response. As a result, effective April 6th, 2023, meat producers have stopped exporting their products.
This decision will have significant economic implications, as Ethiopia earned a record 120 million US dollars from meat exports last year. However, the current situation has left the sector in a complicated position, with companies that follow the law being forced out of the market.
Source: Wazema Radio
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